Ancient Species -
Dinosaurs

The first dinosaurs appeared appeared about 230 million years ago in the Triassic Period. These first small dinosaurs were not a major part of the fauna of the time.

Eoraptor

During the Jurassic Period (213 to 144 million years ago), an enormous diversity of dinosaurs appeared. Most of these were "lizard-hipped" dinosaurs including sauropods and theropods. "Bird-hipped" dinosaurs were also present but did not become dominant until the Cretaceous Period (144 to 66.4 million years ago).

The dinosaurs (except birds) were wiped out in the "great extinction" at the end of the Cretaceous Period (about 66.4 million years ago).

Saurischian hip

Lizard-Hipped Dinosaurs

Sauropods were four-legged herbivores with very long necks and tails, and small skulls and brains. The largest of these was the diplodocus, which was 80 to 90 feet long. The apatosaurus (formerly called the "brontosaurus") was shorter but heavier.

Theropods were bipedal carnivores. At first these were relatively small creatures but larger species developed over time. They include "raptors" (correctly called dromaeosaurs), allosaurs and tyrannosaurs. Birds are descended from lizard-hipped theropods (not from bird-hipped dinosaurs).

"Raptors" had slashing talons on their toe, large grasping hands and muscular toothy jaws. They were fierce predators ranging in size from about 6 foot long velociraptors up to 30 foot long.

Allosaurs had large, narrow jaws, long forelimbs with huge claws and large legs with heavy, clawed feet. They lived mostly during the Jurassic Period (213 to 144 million years ago).

Tyrannosaurs were large carnivorous dinosaurs which lived in the Cretaceous Period between 85 and 65 million years ago. The largest of them, tyrannosaurus rex was about 40 feet long, 15 feet high and weighed about 6 tons.

Ornithischian hip

Bird-Hipped Dinosaurs

There were many types of bird-hipped dinosaurs, including  armored dinosaurs (thyreophors), horned dinosaurs (ceratopsians) and duckbilled dinosaurs (hadrosaurs).

Armored dinosaurs existed from early in the Jurassic Period. they mostly walked on all four legs and were of various sizes. One example was the stegosaurus which had two rows of armored spike running down its back. The reached their peak during the late Jurassic Period (). Ankylosaurs, which thrived in the Cretaceous Period (144 to 66.4 million years ago), had more extensive armor covering most of their upper body. They had broad armored heads and club-like tails. They grew up to 16 feet long but only 5 feet tall. 

Horned dinosaurs lived during the Cretaceous Period (144 to 66.4 million years ago). Some, such as triceratops, had a large bony frill as well as horns. Triceratops was a huge animal weighing about 5 tons. They probably traveled in herds. 

Duckbilled dinosaurs reached their peak in late in the Cretaceous Period (from 144 to 66.4 million year ago). They had beaks and webbed feet like ducks; scaly skin like lizards; some had crests on their heads. They were up to 40 feet long and 18 feet tall.

Duckbill dinosaur

For more information about individual dinosaur species and about the orders and sub-orders of dinosaurs, see the Dinosaur Database

Dinosaur Database

Dinosaur Egg

 

Dinosaur fossils now available (at eBay):

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Dinosaur skull replica Dilophosaurus (shellac)

AU $18.00
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Dinosaur fossil replica Triceratops skull

AU $18.00
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Dinosaur fossil replica (Plesiosaurus)

AU $18.00
End Date: Sunday Dec-16-2018 15:40:41 EST
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Dinosaur skull replica Parsauralophus

AU $18.00
End Date: Sunday Dec-16-2018 15:22:08 EST
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Dinosaur skull replica Dilophosaurus (grey)

AU $18.00
End Date: Saturday Dec-15-2018 21:47:17 EST
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Dinosaur fossil replica Triceratops skull

AU $18.00
End Date: Monday Dec-17-2018 18:30:29 EST
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Dinosaur skull replica Parsauralophus

AU $18.00
End Date: Saturday Dec-15-2018 17:19:14 EST
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